“Alzheimer’s can be prevented,” food scientist David McCarthy comments.

But whilst welcoming the study, food scientist David McCarthy questions its primary focus on obesity: “The Americans have removed a relatively small terrorist threat when compared to the vast number of its citizens who will die prematurely in the coming decades from dementia.  And what is changing the US and Europe into a dementia-ridden society?  The food we eat. Obesity is a by-product of eating too much bad food.  It’s virtually impossible to become obese on a healthy diet.”  

McCarthy is one of the few advocates in Britain of macrobiotics: a dietary system developed in Japan.  “When I say it’s virtually impossible to become obese if you follow a healthy diet, it’s because if you clean out your body and start eating predominately wholefoods and vegetables, you also detoxify your mind, not in a New Age sense but a very literal one.  The foods themselves begin a transformative process that is not merely physical but also psychological.  

If we eat better, we become better.  By that, I mean if we start to eat the wholefoods we are actually designed to digest, we will naturally reject processed or indigestible foods either with our intellect or the body will reject them for us in the form of spots, boils, eczema, deposited fat or other discharges: all symptoms, by the way, that most people have come to regard as normal.”  

McCarthy is adamant that diet is the root cause of the dementia epidemic facing our society: “Numerous epidemiological studies show arteries clogged by our Western diet result in a reduced blood flow to the brain and if you reduce blood flow, you reduce brain efficiency.  

In medical terms this is known as oxidative stress induced cognitive impairment.  Added to that, if the person is obese, even greater stress is placed on the brain’s blood flow and the chances of Alzheimer’s or any number of dementias are made more probable.” The solution?  “Time and again we are told that strict adherence to a “Mediterranean diet”, one that is high in legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables containing unsaturated fats such as those found in fish, is best for us Europeans.  A lifetime spent eating rubbish has consequences.  In biological terms, you get out what you put in.  Unfortunately, what a staggering proportion of people will be faced with is a dementia that could have been entirely preventable.”

David McCarthy is a qualified pharmacist.  In 1994 he started the Triocare chain of pharmacies with 25 outlets in the South of England. He opened the first Western pharmacy in the former Soviet Union a year before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. When his son Jonathan wasdiagnosed with a brain tumour in 1997, David found himself increasingly skeptical towards the efficacy of modern pharmaceuticals and the interventions offered by the medical profession.  He turned instead to dietary solutions that included a vegan diet for his whole family.  The diet, combined with other natural treatments, successfully extended Jonathan’s life and confounded medical experts.  After 7 years painstaking research into the science of diet, the overwhelming evidence suggested that macrobiotics, a food science that originated in Japan, could hold the key not only to individual health but future global food sustainability.  Jonathan tragically lost his life to complications resulting from an infected intravenous line.  In his memory, David has dedicated his energy to perfecting a scientifically informed approach to macrobiotics simple enough to allow every man, woman and child the opportunity to lead a healthier, happier life in harmony with the planet.  He is a graduate of the Kushi Institute, Europe and lives with his wife and daughter in the UK.

David and his wife Nicola own and run the Macrobiotic shop in Forest Row which also happens to be the largest and best stocked shop in the UK